Coronavirus Update: Letter from President Turner, March 13, 2020

March 13, 2020 

SBU Family, 

Part of our mission at SBU is preparing students to be servant leaders in a global society. As communities, governments, schools, businesses and others respond to recent events with the spread of COVID-19 (coronavirus), we are learning just how connected we all are to our global society. 
Across the country, higher education leaders are planning for and responding to the multitude of global disruptions to our everyday lives. At SBU, we are taking a measured approach by: 

  • Using available technology to continue teaching and learning beyond a physical classroom
  • Committing to this approach for one week after Spring Break (March 23-27) while we continue to monitor the situation and consider appropriate future responses

Since we made the announcement Wednesday evening about moving course facilitation online for the week of March 23, we have received questions from students, parents, faculty and staff about logistical details. Many of those questions have been answered through internal portal announcements and website updates. We continue to work through some of the questions and will provide answers as soon as possible. Thank you for your patience as we continue to work through this together. 

As everyone prepares to leave our campuses today, I wanted to provide you with some updated information. 

  • Our Self-Quarantine Guidelines for COVID-19 were updated on Thursday, March 12. You can view the updated guidelines at www.SBUniv.edu/coronavirus. I strongly encourage you to reconsider any international travel plans.
  • The Great Lakes Valley Conference’s Council of Presidents voted unanimously Friday to suspend all activities related to intercollegiate athletics, effective immediately across all 24 GLVC sports, and cancel the remaining 2020 GLVC Championships. The GLVC Council of Presidents will review the status of the league suspension on April 6.
  • In addition to our standard cleaning and disinfection protocols, we are adding new protocols to further ensure the cleanliness of all facilities.
  • All campus buildings, including the Wellness Center, will be closed March 14-22. Students who remain in the residence halls during Spring Break will not have access to any other buildings.
  • For students who need or desire to return before March 29, residence halls will re-open and meal service resume on March 22. Students planning to return before March 29 should notify their resident director. With services being offered, we will not be issuing refunds for housing or meal plans.
  • Campus employment and work study students who live locally or have plans to remain in the residence halls the week of March 23 will be allowed to work campus employment or work study hours. Students should communicate with supervisors regarding the week of March 23. The March 18 payroll will be processed on schedule.
  • Because chapel services will not be held March 23 and 25, all students will receive two Community, Life + Worship credits.
  • Events scheduled after March 28, including May commencement ceremonies, are still planned as scheduled.

This is the plan today, as of right now. While you are away, stay connected to our official communication channels — MySBU Portal, the SBU website, SBU email and SBU Alert messages — for updated information. I look forward to seeing you on our campuses again as soon as possible.

These are uncertain times, but I am grateful for the certainty we have in our Lord.

Shaping our story together,

Dr. Eric A. Turner
President

SBU Coronavirus Information Page